The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), has accredited more than 200 laboratories in a bid to improve industry standards amid the rapid advancement in technologies and growing business interest in the Philippines.
In a statement, the DTI-PAB said it has accredited 183 testing laboratories and 37 calibration laboratories as of the end of April.
In addition, it also accredited six medical laboratories; five inspection bodies; six certification bodies for certification of management systems such as quality, environment and food safety; and one product certification body.
“As an emerging economy, the Philippines is trying its best to be mainstreamed into the global economy to enable our products and services to penetrate the bigger global market. One of the challenges of international trade is to overcome technical barriers when entering global markets,” the DTI said.
To lower technical barriers to exports and imports, the DTI said accreditation is needed to build trust in products, services, and testing laboratories to make trade of technical products and services go smoothly.
Accreditation bodies and laboratories need international recognition of their accreditation schemes through membership to regional and international Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA).
The DTI-PAB is a full member of the MRA of International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) for ISO/IEC 17025:2005, the International Standard for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories since 2005.
Participation in the APLAC MRA and ILAC MRA demonstrates that the DTI-PAB accreditation activities is internationally recognized, and helps strengthen the Philippines’ trade with the rest of the world.
Accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories based on ISO/IEC 17025 started in the Philippines in 1995 through the DTI-Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) Laboratory Accreditation Scheme.
In 2006, the accreditation functions of the BPS were transferred to the Office of the Undersecretary of the Consumer Welfare and Trade Regulation Group. The office was called the Philippine Accreditation Office (PAO), which was later renamed the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) with the approval of DTI’s Rationalization Plan (pursuant to Executive Order No. 366 dated October 4, 2004) by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) effective in October 2013.